Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.
by Kellie Langlois, Didier Garriguet, and Leanne Findlay
The contribution of specific nutrients to obesity has not been definitively established. The objective of this study was to determine if an association exists between obesity and the relative percentages of fats, carbohydrates, protein and fibre in the diets of Canadians.
The data are from the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey—Nutrition. The analysis pertains to 6,454 respondents aged 18 or older who provided valid 24-hour dietary recall information and measured height and weight, and whose reported energy intake was considered plausible based on their predicted energy expenditure. Logistic regression models with obesity status as the main outcome were conducted, controlling for potential confounders. All analyses were based on weighted estimates.
When the effect of the control variables was taken into account, total kilocalories consumed increased the odds of obesity in men, and fibre intake decreased the odds. Among women, only total kilocalories consumed was significantly associated with increased odds of obesity.
Higher consumption of kilocalories increased the odds of obesity, but the relative amounts of fats, carbohydrates and protein were generally not significant. The sole exception was an association between higher fibre intake and lower rates of obesity among men.
carbohydrate, energy intake, fat, fibre, protein, 24-hour recall
The prevalence of obesity has been rising in Canada in recent decades. By 2004, 23.1% of adults were obese, nearly ten percentage points higher than in 1978 (13.8%). Dietary composition—the relative proportions of calories coming from fats, carbohydrates and protein, and intake of fibre— has been suspected of playing a role in obesity. However, few studies have examined the association between excess weight and the consumption of these nutrients, and the results are inconsistent. The unexpected and sometimes contradictory findings may be due to differences in sample size, time frames, and variations in how excess weight is measured. In addition, some of the studies could not account for key factors, including total energy intake and/or physical activity levels. Others were unable to adjust for under-reporting of calories consumed—a shortcoming of many nutrition studies. [Full text]
Kellie Langlois (1-613-951-3806; Kellie.Langlois@statcan.gc.ca), Didier Garriguet (1-613-951-7187; Didier.Garriguet@statcan.gc.ca) and Leanne Findlay (1-613-951-4648; Leanne.Findlay@statcan.gc.ca) are with the Health Analysis Division at Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0T6.